Hope and homes in Simcoe


Affordable housing provider Indwell had always gone the general contractor route, thinking construction management (and Schilthuis) were too expensive. Hambleton Hall was their first project to stay on budget and open on time.

Owner: Indwell
Our role: Construction management
Process: Invited to tender, awarded on cost proposal
Completed: October 2016
Location: Simcoe, ON
Team: INVIZIJ Architects, CK Engineering Inc., G. Douglas Vallee Ltd.
The wow: Strong neighbourhood support for a social housing project

We had always wanted to work with Indwell, but time after time their tender-bid-spec process priced us out of the competition—at least on paper. Indwell wanted signature projects built on a disposable building budget—a common situation for non-profits—and had been unhappy with the quality, delays and expensive change orders of their past projects. We helped them understand that using Schilthuis as their construction manager would mean predictable costs, superior quality and hitting project milestones on schedule.

Repurposing an older building comes with challenges. Built in 1957 as a Sunday school, Hambleton Hall had asbestos, fire damage, structural issues, old and poorly functioning facilities and a gym that needed to be converted to two floors of apartments in order to meet the 35-unit target. We set a realistic schedule and budget, and worked hard to meet the needs of the project and reassure the client that we could deliver what we promised.

Social housing projects aren’t welcomed in existing neighbourhoods, but they require community support to be truly successful. We did our part to build neighbourhood relationships with proactive communication, careful attention to the job site, respectful work hours, and efforts to keep dust and noise to a minimum. At the grand opening, neighbours made a point of commenting on how friendly and courteous the contractors were.

Hambleton Hall opened on schedule to a warm community welcome, proving to Indwell that when we say we do quality work on time and on budget, we mean it. After several more projects together, we now consider ourselves Indwell’s construction partner, helping them offer homes and hope in Hamilton and beyond.